The country’s laws need to be amended to address the large number of immigrants, according to Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla. Citing the second State of the Nation Address, Remulla said President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. sought the cooperation of Congress on several key legislations, including the proposal to modernize the Bureau of Immigration (BI). He said the number of illegal immigrants in the country is estimated at around 2 million. Remulla said overhauling the BI and reforming the performance of its frontliners will allow for better regulation of illegal workers. “If you look at it, many of them are really law-abiding. They want to be part of our society. They want to be integral parts of our society. They want to become Filipinos and we have to open our doors to this. We must remember that one of the best building blocks of people is immigration and that holds well for any countries like the us and Europe where immigration became the key to building a big human resource base,” Remulla told reporters on Tuesday. Remulla explained that under the pending proposal, the BI will be more independent from the DOJ, which will become the supervising agency. “Kahit sa buong mundo, ‘yan ang pamamaraan. Marami pang mga function ang Immigration na mahalaga na nakatali sa ating justice system. Ang isang example dyan ay ang pagbibigay ng pribelehiyo na papasukun ang mga dayuhan sa ating bansa (All over the world, that is how it is done. There are several other functions tied to the justice system. One example is the privilege to allow foreigners to enter the country) or the visa issuing power which is actually lodged at the DOJ but delegated to other agencies for practical reasons,” Remulla said. The proposal to amend Commonwealth Act 613 or the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 includes battling cross-border crimes such as smuggling, illegal recruitment and human trafficking, and updating the compensation of immigration personnel.
Source: Philippines News Agency